Trump issued a public health emergency to fight the opioid crisis in the U.S. It's an announcement many in the health community, like peer recovery coach Andre Rhyne, disagree with. He says "it's good that they're trying to find out who was at fault, but unfortunately, at the same time, we are dealing with a crisis where people are dying daily".
"We're a shot of hope, a shot of hope", Rhyne said.
Dr. Mary Dowd, an addiction specialist who works at the Milestone Foundation's detox center in Portland and also treats Suboxone patients at Catholic Charities, agreed that there is value in continuing an open discussion about the crisis, especially if the president is a major participant. It does allow agencies to redirect resources, something many said just isn't enough.
Donnelly says he was hoping Trump would declare a national emergency, which would have triggered federal money for the states. That will be up to states to decide and it's not clear what ME will do.
"The governor was there to highlight the initiatives the LePage administration has undertaken to address the opioid crisis in Maine", Peter Steele, LePage's communications director, said in an email.
Mayor Barrett says the city-county task force has developed a set of goals to help address the opioid problem in Milwaukee County, which include making sure there's access for safe medication disposal, treatment for people who use drugs and making sure medications that lead to addiction aren't being overly prescribed.
Emily Spencer, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, also touted those efforts, which she said are starting to yield results.
OH is spending as much as $8.8 billion a year on fighting the opioid crisis.
"The fact that we've got over 270 who've died from drug overdoses this year tells you how significant this problem is".
In a city where an average of two people overdose per day, health care leaders said more federal dollars are needed to help save lives. "And so the more we start moving into mainstream public health and personal health and medical financing, the sooner we'll be able to really generate the responses that people need".
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